The National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has arrested no fewer than 66 drug hawkers across the nation.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this while destroying fake and expired goods in Sagamu, Ogun State, on Thursday.
Adeyeye, represented by the NAFDAC Director of Investigation and Enforcement, Francis Ononiwu, said 66 arrests were recorded from 50 raids across the country since January 2023.
According to her, antimalarials, codeine, cough syrups, aphrodisiacs, tramadol capsules, analgesics, and antibiotics worth N8 million were seized from people who hawked drugs on the street.
“Also up for destruction today are damaged and expired products, voluntarily handed over to the agency by compliant companies, trade unions and non-governmental organisations.
“NAFDAC has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the health of the nation is safeguarded.
“As such, it is committed to eliminating expired medical products, illicit drugs, unwholesome foods, chemicals and other violative products,” she said.
She recalled a recent arrest of one Sunday Chibuike, who was charged to court by the agency for producing unregistered alcoholic beverages.
She said that Chibuike was concocting alcoholic drinks laced with marijuana and other harmful ingredients, which were packaged and sold as Japata bitters in the Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos State.
“This act is extremely callous and worrisome because of the health implications which include pseudo hallucination, impairment of reflexes, acute psychosis, altered brain development and impaired motor coordination, among others.”
She, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to shun drug peddlers on the streets and patronise registered medicine stores.
“I hereby appeal to community leaders, religious leaders, health practitioners, newsmen and others to continue to educate their wards and family members to desist from patronising quacks and peddlers of medicine on the streets.”
The NAFDAC boss also appreciated the support and collaboration from the Nigeria Customs Service, Police, NDLEA, DSS and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
She assured Nigerians that NAFDAC would not relent in its effort to rid the country of substandard and falsified medicines and other unwholesome regulated products.